Carson Palmer: Cardinals offense 'drastically' changes without David Johnson

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Take away 1,239 rushing yards, 879 receiving yards, 20 touchdowns and 23 touches per game from an offense and what do you have? The Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in Indianapolis.

That's what will be missing without David Johnson on the field for the Cardinals against the Indianapolis Colts now that he's on injured reserve with a dislocated wrist. That's what Arizona will be trying to replace with five different running backs.

"It changes drastically," quarterback Carson Palmer said of Arizona's offense. "You lose, who I think, is one of the best football players in this league, things are obviously going to change.

"But in saying that, we're not going to sulk. We got right back to work today and Dre [Andre Ellington] stepped in, Kerwynn [Williams] stepped in. Chris Johnson, getting him back is huge for us. Yes, things change when you lose [left tackle] D.J. [Humphries] and you lose David like that. Things change. The offense doesn't change but obviously when you take away the touches and the effect that those two guys have on the game, things change."

The actual scheme won't change.

"Not one iota," coach Bruce Arians said.

The dynamics of the offense will, however.

Without Johnson, Arizona will lose some of its offensive firepower. It may not be as productive or dynamic or overpowering as it would've been with Johnson.

"Well, Dave, I don't know how many catches he had last year but there [are] a whole lot of catches there for somebody else," Palmer said. "He had 2,000 yards of offense so somebody's got to step up. We're not going to run every single exact play that Dave ran, run routes because that was something very specific to Dave that he did really, really well.

"But the offense doesn't completely change. You don't run some of the same plays Dave ran but the things change when you lose a guy that produced 2,000 yards in one season."

The Cardinals will turn to Williams to start at running back on Sunday in Indianapolis. He'll be backed up by Ellington and then Chris Johnson, with Eli Penny and D.J. Foster battling for the fourth and final active running back spot.

Last season, those five players combined for 465 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns.

Palmer said he -- or anybody else -- can't feel like he needs to do more to make up for Johnson's loss.

"We don't need Chris to try to play like David," Palmer said. "We've got to each play within ourselves and play within the system. You can't sit around and sulk. You can't feel like you've got to do anything superhuman."

And Arians won't be putting more pressure on Palmer to fill Johnson's void for one, well, obvious reason: "He doesn't play running back."

Palmer believes Arizona needs to stay the course. He's been in this situation before and so have the Cardinals. The plays may not change but the offense will change. Arizona still has players who can run and catch, Chris Johnson said.

"You can't all of a sudden change what you're doing and change the way you go about your reads," Palmer said. "You've just got to continue to play."